Students of SC category will also need to qualify the NET exam to avail research scholarship.
New Delhi/ 09.01.2019: As per the new government guidelines, qualifying the National Eligibility Test (NET) is now made mandatory for the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste. Revised guidelines have been issued for the National Fellowship to Schedule Caste students to pursue M.Phil and PhD programmes scheme. Students of SC category will also need to qualify the NET 2019 exam in order to become eligible for fellowship for pursuing M.Phil and PhD programmes.
Earlier, NET was not compulsory for SC students. They only needed to pass the postgraduate programme and submit their research proposal for the award of fellowship for pursuing M.Phil/ PhD This change could certainly make it tougher for marginalised candidates to avail a special scholarship. “The new guidelines are unjust and a move to exclude Dalit students from higher education,” condemned Udit Raj, BJP parliamentarian and chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations.
New Eligibility Guidelines to Impact As Many As 2,000 SC Candidates
As per the guidelines sent to the University Grants Commission (UGC) from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, “Scheduled Caste candidates who have qualified National Eligibility Test-Junior Research Fellowship (NET-JRF) of UGC or UGC-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (UGC-CSIR) Joint Test should enrol for the course in the eligible Universities/ Institutions/ Colleagues within six months from the date of declaration of results by UGC in respect of the above and be registered within 01 year from date of enrolment. Fellowship will be provided only after registration for the course.” This move will ultimately impact around 2,000 Scheduled Caste students (500 in Science stream and 1,500 in Humanities and Social Sciences stream). The Commission is also working on a mechanism to verify the ‘genuineness of the SC certificates’ to avoid persons applying for the research grants based on fake certificates.
Every year, around 5 lakh candidates appear in the NET exam and about thirty thousand (30,000) crack it.
Previous Eligibility Criteria for NFSC
Take a look at the previous eligibility criteria for National Fellowship for Scheduled Caste (NFSC) scheme as stated on the official UGC website –
- Must belong to SC/ ST and should have cleared the postgraduate examination
- Must be registered for M.Phil/ PhD
- Candidates who fall under the ‘Transgender’ category